...To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Those words are etched into countless generations of fans, spanning generations, ethnic backgrounds, religious affiliations and even socio-economic classes. If you've been a part of television culture in the last 50 years then you're probably well aware of the cult phenomenon known as Star Trek.
Over 50 years Star Trek has taken us on countless adventures that have charted new storylines with each successive series, but it all started with James T. Kirk and his starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series. In 1966 the series debuted, and was less than stellarly received (at least until it was syndicated a few years later) before becoming a cult classic and spawning five additional television series and 12 feature films. For a very long time, fans have had to rely on their collectors editions and box sets to enjoy all the Trekkie goodness, but recently Netflix has announced big plans for Star Trek.
In a press release on July 18th, Netflix announced their partnership with CBS Studios (who holds the licensing rights to Star Trek) and that the new Star Trek television series would be available 24 hours after each episode airs live on CBS this January. On top of the new episodes airing a day later, Netflix also plans to make all the existing episodes of the iconic show available by the end of this year. This is big news for the legions of Trekkies as they can stream all their favorite episodes from any Netflix supported device. These episodes will be available in 188 countries (excluding the US and Canada).
What Exactly Will I Be Able To Watch?
Well, considering that there are 727 existing episodes split between five series (plus one animated), there's plenty to watch, but here's a recap or what each series had to offer:
Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy & George Takei
Star Trek: The Original Series follows Captain James T. Kirk (Shatner) of the USS Enterprise as he leads his expeditionary crew across the Milky Way exploring various planet and meeting countless enemies (Khan, the Klingons and the Romulans) all the while on a peaceful mission from the United Federation of Planets. That is, except for those time when Kirk had to kick some ass:
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)
Starring: Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner & Jonathan Frakes
Set nearly 70 years after the final mission of the first Starship Enterprise, The Next Generation follows Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart) and his crew as they explore aspects of the human condition as well as the varying relationships with new alien races. The Next Generation also introduces new antagonists into the universe with the Ferengi, the Cardassian (not Kim and Khloe, btw) and the Borg.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)
Starring: Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor, Rene Auberjonois & Alexander Siddig
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine follows the escapades of the crew of a space station (rather than a starship) as they guard a pivotal wormhole that allows access to the unexplored Gamma Quadrant. Deep Space Nine faces more of the interpersonal conflicts that arise between the crew as well as the Maquis, the Dominion and a Mirror Universe.
Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)
Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Jennifer Lien & Robert Picardo
Star Trek: Voyager follows Captain Kathryn Janeway (Mulgrew) and her ships crew as they pursue a Maquis ship but become stranded in the Delta Quadrant, about 70,000 light-years from Earth. The show revolves around the crew partnering with the Maquis in order to return home. Along their trip they encounter new villainous races like the Kazon, the Vidiians, the Hirogen, Species 8472 and of course the Borg.
Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005)
Starring: Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Linda Park & Dominic Keating
Set as a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Sequel, Star Trek: Enterprise follows Captain Jonathan Archer (Bakula) as he leads the first deep space exploration for Starfleet. The crew faced various challenges like a time-traveling figure, the Temporal Cold War and the original struggle with the Romulans that created the Federation itself.
So whatever you like, Netflix has a large collection of binge-worthy content coming thanks to this partnership with CBS. Are you ready to explore the Star Trek universe?